MIAMI – The Canadian Advanced Air Mobility Consortium (CAAM) has appointed D3 Technologies to design and construct air traffic management systems to support eVTOL and drone activities in Canadian cities.

D3 Technologies, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of LMI Aerospace, Inc., and is a provider of complex design and engineering services to the aerospace and defense industry. Looking to start in Vancouver, the German air traffic control expert plans to use its technological apparatus to revitalize airspace.

D3 Technologies, based in Munich, claims that its solution entails the construction of “digital routes” that aircraft can travel on. Also, it claims that doing so will pave the way towards obtaining safety clearance in order to expand advanced air mobility (AAM) operations in urban areas.

According to chief commercial officer Achim Kostron, D3’s collaboration with CAAM is a profitability project. In that, it “will demonstrate a proof of concept to regulators such as Nav Canada and unlock future use cases.” Moreover, CAAM seeks to develop an AAM policy framework that will span the first 20 years of the this new mode of air transportation.

D3 Technologies’s digital flight paths for eVTOL aircraft. Photo: D3 Technologies

Canadian’s Way in AAM

More than 20 collaborators, including aviation ventures, government institutions, and universities, are setting the foundations for the extension of AAM services around the country.

This is a part of a larger initiative spearheaded by CAAM’s subsidiary Canadian Air Mobility and the National Research Council of Canada. CAAM’s long-term aim is to facilitate zero-emission mobility for individuals, goods, and other services in urban and rural areas.

“A scalable air traffic control solution will be essential for governments to benefit from AAM,” said CAAM executive director JR Hammond. “We are looking for the air traffic control solution that has the highest probability of applying to an effective national framework.”

Image: CAAM

D3 Technologies Program

D3 received US$3.5m (€2.9m) in Seed II funding in 2020. Besides, it could pursue financial assistance later this year. This summer, the company plans to begin a master program for its new system by outfitting one or two airports in the Munich area and conducting trials with test vehicles. Consequently, It plans to perform a larger-scale device demonstration with eVTOL makers in 2022 or 2023.

Such trials at first would most likely begin with a fairly large drone. However, an existing light aircraft is a potential for the next test phase. A ground station, logistics infrastructure, and onboard avionics are all part of the integrated ATM kit.

The D3 executive team has extensive aviation expertise, led by Huber as CEO and Chief Technical Officer. Huber was formerly the CEO of Extra, Remos, and Econoflug, both German aircraft manufacturers.

The company’s head of air traffic control is Ralph Schuppenhauer, who previously worked as a program manager for next-generation air traffic management for the German ATC agency Deutsche Flugsicherung, and its head of avionics is Otto Bommer, who previously worked as a project manager for the mission management computer on the Airbus 400M aircraft.

Featured image: Simulator. Image: D3 Technologies